Health benefits of meditation

by | Jul 16, 2015 | Life & Style

Meditation is often trumped as a means to reducing stress and restoring healthy function in the body. While meditation might once have been considered a New Age treatment, in recent years it has developed into a mainstream practice supported by both traditional and alternative medical providers.

The Mayo Clinic says that anyone can practice meditation. A cost-effective treatment that does not require any special equipment or location, meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and originally was developed to help people understand the mystical or spiritual forces of life. Although meditation for some may still have religious or spiritual connotations, in a medical sense it is typically used for relaxation and stress reduction.

Various studies show that meditation can be associated with improvement of a variety of issues. Researchers describe meditation-based changes as ones that actually change the brain. Changes in the circuitry of the brain may affect the way a person responds to specific situations. The following are a few ways to put mindful meditation to use.

• Strengthen cognitive function: Dr. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says meditation can help thicken the prefrontal cortex of the brain, helping to reverse the pattern of cognitive function decline as one ages.

• Protect against heart disease: There is some indication that meditation can reduce concentrations of the marker C-reactive protein, which is associated with the development of heart disease.

• Stimulate the immune system: A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that mindfulness meditation increases electrical activity in the areas of the prefrontal cortex that serve as the command center for the immune system. When these areas are stimulated, the immune system works more effectively.

• Reduce blood pressure: The stress-boosting properties of meditation can help reduce hypertension. Researchers at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine attribute this to the increase of nitric oxide during meditation. Nitric oxide gas can expand blood vessels and open up blood channels.

Some experts also say that meditation can decrease metabolism and improve breathing. Meditation may be a mind-body way to beat some of the conditions that affect people during daily life. Meditation is not difficult to learn, but it something that requires practice to master.

0 Comments

Related News

Gardener shares bounty

Gardener shares bounty

 Home gardener Catherine “Cathi” Banks has learned by trial and error how to get the most from the raised bed gardens that have lined her backyard in Murphy for the last six years.  In fact, Banks’ has not only had good luck with her gardening adventure, she...

read more
Homeowner goes on a kitchen garden adventure

Homeowner goes on a kitchen garden adventure

After a few years of growing the typical Texas flowers; pan­sies in the winter, impatiens in the summer in the normal front flowerbeds, homeowner Kori Hendrix realized she wanted more variety and more gardens at her Wylie home. There was ample opportuni­ty to make...

read more
Checklist for new homeowners makes a move easier

Checklist for new homeowners makes a move easier

Now that you’ve closed on your first house, you’re officially a homeowner. However, before you can get comfy in your new place, you need to actually move in. If you’ve never moved into a new house, there are a few things you may not be aware of. As you make plans to...

read more
Hit the trails

Hit the trails

I learned how to ride a bike on a pink glitter bicycle with white wheels, a cute basket, and rainbow tassel handles. As a kid, I spent countless hours ex­ploring the neighborhood streets with my matching pink helmet. Recently, I’ve been enjoying biking once again on...

read more
Set sail for fun times this summer

Set sail for fun times this summer

If I could bottle up a bit of June’s dreamy, luminescent sunshine, I would spritz it all year long to prolong that mag­ical early summer feeling. It’s practically impossible to feel sad this time of year when the outdoors beckons you every day. This is your chance to...

read more
Artisan, inventor fuse marriage, creativity

Artisan, inventor fuse marriage, creativity

Sue Darte blames her daugh­ter and a jewelry making class she took nine years ago for ig­niting a passion for the art of fusing glass. “A retail glass company had a Groupon coupon and I brought my daughter-in-law with me to make two pieces of jewelry,” Sue said. In...

read more
Make Mother’s Day bloom

Make Mother’s Day bloom

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re fortunate enough to still have your mom or grandmother in your life why not plan a special trip to honor them this year? We all know flowers and lunch are nice but how about escaping town to visit a place where...

read more
Waste in the water

Waste in the water

Pictures of trash on beaches, a whale found with a belly full of garbage and turtles with plastic straws up their nose are no laugh­ing matter. They are all just a tiny snapshot of reality today. The impact of the world’s overuse of plastic is causing hav­oc on the...

read more
Sisters on the Fly celebrates 21 years of adventure

Sisters on the Fly celebrates 21 years of adventure

Imagine being part of a group where only women are allowed. No kids, no husband, no pets. Your only responsibili­ty is for yourself – and making sure you have fun! Sure, there’s a caveat. You must be willing to commune with nature as you fraternize with a group of...

read more